Published: Sun, November 18, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Homeless man who helped thwart Melbourne terrorist attack charged with burglary

Homeless man who helped thwart Melbourne terrorist attack charged with burglary

The "Trolley Man" was involved in a terrifying smash and grab burglary just hours before the fearless vigilante helped police take down the Bourke Street terrorist.

Humbled by public generosity giving him the opportunity to turn his life around, "Trolley Man" made a decision to face the music and turn himself in to police.

Michael Rogers was captured in shaky cellphone images from the scene repeatedly shoving a shopping cart, known as a shopping trolley in Australia, at attacker Hassan Khalif Shire Ali who had just stabbed three people and was threatening police officers with a knife.

It wasn't until Rogers was noticed by the public in social media videos, earning the moniker "Trolley Man", that he came to the attention of police who announced they wanted to speak to him about the burglaries.

Rogers was charged with two counts of burglary, two counts of theft, and committing an indictable offence whilst on bail.

Police had wanted Rogers in relation to an incident at a cafe the day before the Bourke Street attack, where he and an accomplice allegedly broke into a cafe and took $500 from the till and a basket, the court heard.

Mr Rogers, 46, is understood to have handed himself over to police on Friday night.

She told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. the money raised for him will be held in a trust fund for him, and that an accountancy firm had offered to oversee it and give financial advice.

He was bailed by magistrates on Saturday, despite police opposition, with conditions including a curfew, not entering the city centre and staying at an apartment rented for him by a homeless charity.

Mr Roger's lawyer Melinda Walker said her client had a chance to turn his life around.

Rogers is expected to re-appear in court on November 27.

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